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  1. #1
    Member Chani's Avatar
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    Default How soon is too soon to dance?

    Is is okay for a beginner belly dancer to dance inexpertly at a friend's Mother's Blessing or is that something that should wait until a higher level of proficiency has been reached?

    I am a very beginner having had just 12 group lessons and 2 private lessons altogether. I realise it is early days. However, my friend's pregnancy won't wait for me to become a better dancer and her Mother's Blessing is in a couple of weeks. I make my public debut two days after that but that is under the wing of my instructor.

    So, is it fine to dance my best even though I have a long way to go, to honour my friend and contribute to her ceremony (and hopefully the other ladies will like to have a dance together, too)? Or would that be bad form? It's just that I read here so often about belly dance standards and people claiming to be what they are not and degrading the dance and how it is viewed. Obviously, my friends and the guests will understand that I am a beginner student.

    Cheers
    Chani

  2. #2
    Member Ariella's Avatar
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    As long as you aren't getting paid for it and are clear that you are a beginner, I don't see any harm in this.

  3. #3
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    Hi Chani,

    I'm with Ariella on this one. think personally it would be ok as this is not a professional performance but a thing you're doing for a dear friend. You seem to be quite understanding of where you are as a student and your first real performance will be as a student under your teacher's guidance, you sound to me as you know how far in the dance you are and don't intend to do any harm to the dance or make it a paid gig. Relax now

    IMO dancing for family and/or friends is ok. When I was a baby dancer I danced a short choreo at my aunt's birthdayparty. People knew I had only been dancing a year or so, it was just fun to show them what I'd already learned. As long as your not claiming to be a professional and your not getting paid to do is as Ariella said it sounds alright.

    Just two weeks ago I performed for family again at my mother's 50th birthday party, and people know now that I am serious about the dance and that I am working hard to someday becoming a good, professional dancer.

    Then again, the becoming a professional dancer one day-part didn't seem to matter as much for most of the people there as it does to me. I've done my best to give a show as good as it can be on my part at this point in my dancing. They however were more like "oh how sweet it is you'd dance for your mother...."

    I'd say go ahead and dance for your friend. She'll love it and you will all have a blast.
    Last edited by Yshka; 12-03-2007 at 02:47 PM.

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Gifts for friends are just that. Do it with love and it doesn't really matter if you've only had one lesson. (Charge for it and we enter a whole other area )

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Moon's Avatar
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    It's for your friend, like a gift. You don't sell yourself as a professional, so I think it's a great idea and you should go for it!

  6. #6
    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    Go for it Chani. It's a lovely idea.

  7. #7
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Of course it's absolutely fine - I think it's a lovely idea too.

    Same as if you were learning a musical instrument. Playing for friends and family or at student recitals is fine, but until you reach a certain standard you wouldn't go out gigging. The difference is that the public will know (and tell you ) if you are a lousy guitarist, but if you are a lousy dancer audiences who don't know otherwise will just think all belly dance is rubbish.

  8. #8
    Member Chani's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice and encouragement everybody. I will go ahead and dance at the Mother's Blessing and I hope it makes my friend's Day feel special.

    Chani

  9. #9
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Let us know how it went and show pictures And most of all: have fun!

  10. #10
    Junior Member SaraKat's Avatar
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    I don't think there is a "too soon" unless you are either poaching gigs from other dancers or presenting yourself as an expert bellydancer when in truth you are not. This sounds 100% appropriate and I think it would be a great experience for both you and your friend.
    I started dancing in public after about 6 months of dance training. Now, before some of you say "That's horrible!" -- I was always introduced as a student and only performed with the support of professional dancers. Usually I would "open" for my teacher's dance troupe (which I later joined) or dance a single dance in one of their sets. This was at a time when there were very few student haflas or anything in my area (perhaps one or two a year at most). It's not like I was dancing at a restaurant by myself, or worse yet underpricing myself to get a restaurant gig.
    I don't see the problem with gigs like that, or like what you are describing. There is no better way to get comfortable performing. As long as you are being ethical, don't let anyone tell you what not to do.

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